Whether this week, or just in the month of February here are some ideas you might consider as a Family:
- Look through your wedding album or watch your wedding video. Share stories from your wedding day with your children.
- Make a family timeline beginning with your first date or your wedding day up to the present. Add pregnancies/birthdays, baptismal dates and other sacramental dates, family moves, vacations, new jobs, pets, etc. - anything that has impacted the life of your family.
- Get your crafting supplies out and make Valentine’s Day cards for everyone in the family. On each card, write down some of the qualities you love most about each person. Hang up the cards for everyone to see!
- Speak with your children about the blessings and benefits of marriage (as appropriate to age).
- Pray for the marriages of your children – now or in the future, God already knows their spouse.
8a Mass (with School children) + Noon + 6p
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).
As we approach Lent, I am reminded of something I have been hearing more frequently in recent years. “I don’t give up anything for Lent, I just add a Spiritual Practice” or some similar variant. Please do add the spiritual practice, but do not forego the Fast. Not fasting or sacrificing is a seductive way to subtlely renounce the Cross for which we are preparing in a particular and intentional way in Lent. In Jesus’ own words, He first instructs the denial of self – this can and should be both spiritual and physical. Jesus did not just come to show us simply a more spiritual way… He came to sacrifice and be sacrificed – to be true High Priest and Perfect Victim. We cannot embrace the spiritual Truth of Jesus unless we first embrace the physical sacrifice of Jesus. And an embrace can never happen from afar, as a spectator. The human person is an integrated body and soul. It is our very nature – a good gift as created by God. But if we only attend to the soul by means of additional spiritual practices, we deny the tangible, physical, flesh of our bodies. While not all sin is in or of the flesh, many sins are. And while opening our soul to God is the first step to holiness, it sooner or later must be made manifest in our minds (intellect) and bodies. The Father desires the whole person, just as He did with His Son, Jesus. In the Lenten Trifecta of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving, all three must find a home in our Lenten Journey. The fasting – the self-denial – is an important part of the personal bearing of the Cross.
Holy Family Parish Mission
Thank you to each and everyone who came and participated in the Mission this past week. Whether every night or only one, I pray it was beneficial for your Catholic Christian Faith life. Hopefully, you found Fr Louis’ words inspirational and insightful. Hopefully, you feel challenged to make this Lent a truly renewing time as we strive to live out the great gifts of God entrusted to us in Christ through the Church.
Thank you also to the many volunteers who assisted with ushering, the religious goods booth, and food!
Holy Family, Protected and Led by St Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries